Orden Ogan - Ravenhead

Orden Ogan Ravenhead cover
Orden Ogan
AFM Records
Orden Ogan, is a band that’s been around for quite a while and has been flirting with both a folk-ish sound and power metal, sometimes combining the two, but lately, having minimized the folk influences in favor of a more straight forward power metal sound.
They have become pretty established in their native Germany, but for some reason, beside them being competent enough instrumentalists, I fail to see, why people, are interested in them, as everything about them seems to be rather second rate, including their songwriting, which tends to be rather bland and predictable. Their Blind Guardian-esque melodic metal with a lot of symphonic influences and a vocalist that’s decent, but rather unable to convey real emotion in his deliveries, ending up sounding sterile and rather flat, without any really inspiring moments.
They sound like a buffed up version of Freedom Call, which, I easily consider one of the most boring power metal bands ever, crossed with Sabaton, who are somewhat better, in terms of coming up with solid musical ideas, but seem to have one of the worse singers in the genre (a fact that doesn’t seem to have stopped them from becoming hugely popular.) Now if you take the worst aspects of the two and mix em with the most uninspired you get – Orden Ogan – “The Order of Fear”… ohh I’m scared.
“Ravenhead” their fifth effort tries to be more epic, but their attempt to be dramatic, fails quite spectacularly, as everything seems to be at the same level. Whether you’re hearing a verse or a chorus, it’s all reverbed to death, with tons of vocals and drumming happening at the same time, creating a rather confusing result. I rarely have heard a singer who is “buried” by the drums, being a lead one... and with the constant dual or multiple backing vocals, that very effect is exemplified. It feels like you’re listening to a Blind Guardian, complete with choirs etc. but without the lead vocals!
Since – singing ability is quite critical to me, Orden Ogan, leave a lot to be desired here, with their underwhelming performances throughout in that sector. But the problem with them is not only their vocalist being rather weak, their melodies are almost indistinguishable from one another, with very generic riffs and blunt sounding guitars, lost somewhere in the mix. Even when trying to consider some standout songs, I was unable to bring myself to do so. The more balladesque ones like “A Reason to Give” or “Too Soon” do seem to pull ahead a bit, but they are so faux-Guardian and not even “good” enough clones, that I forgot about them, almost as soon as they were over. There are 2 songs included as bonuses, an 8 bit instrumental version of “F.E.V.E.R” I suppose, one of the most “impressive” songs in this hot mess, as well as a folk version of another tune from their previous album, that’s so and so. Overall, a pedestrian effort, by a rather average band.